IT Show 2014 - Cameras, Printers & Storage Buying Guide


Internal Storage

Internal Storage Deals at the Show

Here are some highlighted internal storage deals at IT Show this year.

Western Digital Green 3.5" (4TB)

The top model, in terms of capacity, for WD's internal low-powered HDD line, the WD Green is quiet, has ample capacity, and comes with a 2-year warranty.

IT Show 2014 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$225 (U.P. S$245)
  • Brochure

Location

Level 1, Booth 1413, Level B2, Booth 808, Booth 817 

Seagate Barracuda 7,200RPM (4TB)

One of Seagate's most popular and dependable hard drvies, the Barracuda is going at a lower price at the IT Show. 

IT Show 2014 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$218 (U.P. S$269)
  • Brochure

Location

Level B2, Booth 808, Booth 817, Booth 728

SanDisk Ultra Plus (128GB)

From a company more well-known for its thumb drives and removable storage media, the SanDisk Ultra Plus is positioned as a mid- to high-end SSD. It offers decent performance, with an affordable price tag to boot.

IT Show 2014 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$129 (128GB), S$239 (256GB)
  • Brochure

Location

Level B2, Booth 817

Samsung 840 Pro Series (512GB)

The Samsung 840 Pro Series is widely regarded as one of the fastest high-end consumer-grade SSDs around and it commands a price premium for such performance levels.

IT Show 2014 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$679 (Usual Price: S$799)
  • Brochure

Location

Level B2, Booth 808, Booth 728, Booth 817

 

IT Show 2014 Internal Storage Portal

 

Internal Storage Buying Guide

Internal storage today can be broadly divided into two categories - traditional mechanical hard drives and solid state drives (SSD). Mechanical hard drives come in larger capacities (up to 4TB) and are more affordable. However, solid state drives have a tremendous performance advantage. Even a mainstream-class SSD is many times quicker than the fastest mechanical hard drive. Therefore, the choice between a mechanical hard drive and a SSD depends very much on your needs and budget.

 

MECHANICAL HARD DRIVES TODAY

Mechanical hard drives have been around for a long time and for most users, mechanical hard drives are ideal because of their low cost and huge capacities. Storage capacity typically start at 1TB and each gigabyte cost just mere cents, making them idea for storage-hungry users. Also, because mechanical hard drives have been around for so long, they are generally considered more reliable.

 

 

Mechanical hard drives are favored by many because of their huge storage capacity and affordability. And because the technology has been around for so long, they are generally considered to be more reliable and predictable. Typically, be prepared to pay around 10 cents per gigabyte for these drives, while higher-performing drives costing slightly more.

 

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Capacity: For most users, capacity should be your first consideration. Mechanical hard drives typically come in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB, so picking one that fits your needs and budget shouldn’t be too difficult. If you are going to migrate your OS installation onto this new hard disk, it’s advisable to get one of equivalent or of larger capacity to make the migration process easier.

Performance: The performance of a mechanical hard drive is dependent largely upon on how fast its platters spin. Mainstream drives typically spin at 5400rpm, while performance-oriented drives spin at a faster rate of 7200rpm. While a 7200rpm drive will be faster, it will also require more power and generate more heat. This isn’t much of a concern for desktop users, but if you are attempting to upgrade your notebook’s hard disk, this is worth noting. For enthusiasts who demand the best, Western Digital’s VelociRaptor drives spin at a heady 10,000rpm and are some of the fastest mechanical drives available.

 

SOLID STATE DRIVES TODAY

SSDs have come a long way in terms of both performance and affordability. Early SSDs were not much faster than mechanical hard drives and were grossly expensive. Today, their performance and reliability have been much improved and prices have dropped past the magical one gigabyte per dollar mark, making them more affordable than ever.

 

 

 

Solid state drives are favored by enthusiasts because of their blazing fast performance. With an SSD, boot times and application loading times can be reduced to mere seconds! And now, with prices falling below the magic $1/gigabyte mark, SSDs have never been more affordable.

 

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Capacity: Today’s SSDs usually come in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacity points. Prices tend to increase exponentially with capacity. For users on a budget, we recommend getting an SSD that’s large enough to accommodate your OS installation and frequently-used apps, and then keep the rest of your files on a cheaper mechanical hard drive. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy the performance benefits of an SSD and still have enough storage for your data.

Controller: There’s a couple of things to consider in terms of an SSD’s performance. The controller plays an important role in determining an SSD’s performance and most fall into one of two camps - SandForce and Marvell. By nature of their design, SandForce drives are usually better than handling compressible data, while Marvell drives excel at dealing with non-compressible data. And then there are drives like Corsair, OCZ and Samsung who have alternative controller solutions. Corsair, for example, using a Link_A_Media Devices LM87800 controller, whereas OCZ and Samsung have their own in-house developed controllers.

Memory: The type of memory used in the drive also affects its performance. There are three main types of memory, asynchronous, synchronous and Toggle-Mode NAND. Most high-end SSDs use synchronous memory which transfers data on both the rise and fall of the clock signal, making it theoretically faster. Asynchronous memory, on the other hand, only transfers data on only one cycle of the clock signal. Lastly, Toggle-Mode NAND refers to the Toggle interface standard that’s backed by Toshiba and Samsung. A general rule of thumb is that this is the fastest kind of memory available, however, our testing shows that this is not always necessarily the case.

Interface: Lastly, if you have a particularly old motherboard be sure to check that it supports the latest SATA 6Gbps standard. The latest high-end SSDs have tremendous performance and even if they are backward compatible with the older SATA 3Gbps, you would not be realizing the full performance potential of the drives if you paired these drives with a SATA 3Gbps interface.

Check out the latest storage products at our HardwareZone Storage Product Guide.